Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held every year in Munich during late September and early October. The festival, which stretches from September 21 to October 3 this year, features parades, food, live music and a boatload of beer. More than 6 million revelers attend the festival each year. Together they consume a whopping 7 million liters of beer.
Oktoberfest has its roots in the wedding of King Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810 when the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the ceremony at the city gates. In the following years, more formal activities were added to the festivities, such as tree climbing and bowling.
The first annual parade honoring King Ludwig becomes part of the festivities.
Beer tents spring up at the festival as protection against rain and other bad weather.
World War II forces an Oktoberfest hiatus.
A new record is set when 7.5 million liters of beer are served at Oktoberfest.
A destination bucket list without Oktoberfest on it is incomplete. True revelers and Germany enthusiasts will find a way to get to Oktoberfest and soak up the Bavarian culture and, of course, the beer. Don't forget your lederhosen.
It's highly likely there's an Oktoberfest celebration happening not far from you. A craft brewery nearby might be tapping their version of Oktoberfest beer and, if so, there's a good chance it will be pretty tasty. Wearing a traditional Bavarian fedora would add a nice touch.
Beer it up!
There are 1,300 breweries in Germany brewing over 5,000 brands of beer. A lot of those beers are exported throughout the world. Head down to your local specialty liquor store to learn a little more about German beers and pick up a few to try at home.
5 Amazing Beers That'll Give You Bragging Rights Upon Returning
Pilsner — a perfectly balanced beer
Although Pilsner is a labor and time-consuming beer, it has a golden brew completely in balance so that it isn't too sweet, too bitter or too spicy.
Get hoppy with a glass of Maibock
Maibock claims to be stronger, maltier and "hoppier" than a traditional Pilsner.
Oktoberfest beer is a misnomer
Although Oktoberfest beer is a dark, aged lager with a flavor driven by yeast and malt, it's actually brewed to be consumed in September, which is when Oktoberfest takes place, rather than in October, as anyone might assume.
Rauchbier puts smoky and beer in the same sentence
Rauchbier beer is a favorite of serious beer drinkers because of its unique, smoky flavor where a large part of the malt is smoked over a wood-burning flame.
Ale plus lager equals Kölsch beer
Kölsch is a light, fruity beer brewed exclusively within the city of Cologne.
Why We Love Oktoberfest
It's quintessentially German
Oktoberfest really is all things German, from the lederhosen costumes to the oompah music to the Oktoberfest beer. You can be German for a day at Oktoberfest.
A Volksfest (people's fest in German) is an event that combines beer and attractions and Oktoberfest is by far the largest. Seven million people gather in Munich from around the globe and drink tons o' beer.
It started out as a wedding reception
Oktoberfest is no newfangled tourist event. It dates back to 1810 when King Ludwig decided to invite the entire city of Munich to his wedding. The king's nuptials featured a series of horse races which were repeated the following year, eventually evolving into the annual Oktoberfest.